Aftershock Comics 2015
Created & Written by Garth Ennis
Illustrated by Simon Coleby
Coloured by John Kalisz
Lettered by Rob Steen
Ironic and very fitting that i’m reviewing this book on Memorial Day here in the States. After all this is a story about the fight for freedom during wartime, and yes freedom here does have multiple meanings. Garth has taken history and fused that into this story to create of the most memorable and poignant series i’ve had the pleasure to read.
I’m of the mind that once this is finished it should be required reading in schools. I say this because not only does it represent what one group went through during the war and what they had to overcome but the message between father and son as they talk goes so much farther than you could possibly imagine. Right now we’re fast approaching a time when there won’t be any more first hand accounts of WWII, the Holocaust and so much more so we can’t let the viewpoints and perspective of those individuals pass with them.
Today it’s abundantly clear that history books are only shown what governments want them to. Increasingly society as a whole is quick to point fingers, judge and dismiss opinions that aren’t in line with theirs. The way Garth writes this story surpasses all that and it really is just utterly brilliant. The son wants to take action and as he listens to his father’s tale of his life you get the impression that he’s listening and seeing that perhaps in your face, demanding stuff now may not be as effective as he believed. There’s a way to go about things to enact change sometimes the process is too slow and unrewarding at the time but don’t dismiss it.
The two viewpoints we’ve seen on display here just couldn’t be more different. Anyone who’s been a victim of profiling, gender inequality or just hatred for being different can understand both points of view here. This story may have it’s roots in the Black Airmen of WWII but the message is universal and as relevant today as it was then. There are very few instances that this holds true anymore and that this isn’t fighting fire with fire or encouraging behaviour that we’d tend to look down upon is incredibly important to me.
Simon has gone so far above and beyond with his work on this series. The care, the passion, the attention to detail we see in every aspect has the same kind of impact that the words are meant to evoke. The air scenes are beyond measure in accuracy, the fear we see in faces as much as the resignation resonates with you long after you finish reading. The flow of the story through pages, panels in the perspective and viewpoints just leave such a massive impression.
There’s no easy way to talk about racial issues anymore without offending someone and yet Garth has done it here. This is smart, classy, thought provoking, powerful and educational in ways you don’t see coming so there is no doubt in my mind that this is the year’s BEST limited series. With Simon and John’s help of course since without them the words would be just words.